Delimitation Commission accepts some suggestions made by five associate members from J&K UT

NEW DELHI — The Delimitation Commission has accepted certain suggestions made by five associate members from Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including National Conference Lok Sabha MPs Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone and BJP MPs Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore, officials told ANI.

The Delimitation Commission met in Delhi today to discuss suggestions of Members of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir, who are associate members of the panel, on its delimitation draft proposal.

The meeting was chaired by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai and attended by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, Jammu and Kashmir Election Commission chief and the Chief Electoral Officer from the Union Territory.

Officials told ANI that Delimitation Commission in its meeting today held discussions at length on the suggestions given by five associate members.

“We had discussed point by point. After a wide range of discussions, the Commission has accepted certain suggestions given by five associate members. Now we will go back to associate members and will inform the decision that is made today,” an official said.

Suggestions of the associate members were submitted to the Delimitation Committee on February 14. Associate members were asked to give their suggestions on the draft report prepared by Delimitation Commission which they were opposing.

The Delimitation Commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Desai with Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and J-K election commission chief KK Sharma was set up on March 6, 2020, and was given a one-year extension last year. Earlier this month, it was given two months extension till May 6 to complete the exercise of redrawing assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Centre extended the term of the Commission by two months by amending the notification issued on March 6, 2020.

“In the said notification, in paragraph 2, for the words, ‘two years’, the words, ‘two years and two months’ shall be substituted,” a notification by the Ministry of Law and Justice stated.

Now, the panel’s term will end on May 6. The Delimitation Commission has held two meetings with the Associate Members on February 18 and December 20 last year. While the first meeting was boycotted by the three National Conference MPs, they attended the second meeting.

As per the preliminary proposal of the Delimitation Commission, the number of seats in the Jammu region will be increased from the existing 37 to 43, while Kashmir will have one additional seat, taking its tally to 47 seats from the current 46.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 notified by the government on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.

The Act provides that the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of

Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission. — (ANI)